A Decade of Ducks!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8856For the fifth year in a row, The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers team has been honored to support Special Olympics Illinois and The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby! 2015 marks their ten-year milestone, “A Decade of Ducks!”

This signature, annual fundraiser of Special Olympics Illinois directly benefits the nearly 22,000 athletes and over 21,000 Young Athletes across Illinois. The Huestudio + Company was proud to be a 2015 Event Sponsor! 

View all 2015 photographs in the Gallery below. Photo Credits: © Michael Courier Photography, 2015.

On August 6, 2015, The Sunshine Paddlers team met and staged at Bike Chicago in Millennium Park. Following a team briefing, bright and colorful event balloons, lovingly crafted by Balloons by Tommy, were handed out to team members to herald our 2015 Spectacular Sunshine Parade!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8599Our custom team parade sign featured an actual wooden paddle and all team members came brightly dressed in Sunshine Yellow and Paddler Blue, custom “Be Happy!” t.shirts from Ink 4 Your Soul, and Derby-style hats and chapeaus! After all, it’s not a true Derby without colorful Derby hats!

michaelcourier-thehuestudio-duck-derby-2015-8494Led by our 2015 Sunshine Ambassador, Ron Antonacci, The Sunshine Paddlers team paraded together from Columbus Drive to Wacker Drive and along the Chicago River, then crossed the Michigan Avenue Bridge where many spectators  warmly greeted us to Pioneer Plaza, directly across from the iconic Wrigley Building. Michael Courier, a preferred event photographer, captured all the fun and festivities.

At 12 noon promptly, The Sunshine Paddlers team turned up the music and a flashmob-style dance occurred to “Walking on Sunshine”, all to the delight and joy of spectators. Custom, branded yellow and white beach balls were given to the gathering crowds.
Following the dance, team photographs were taken and a private luncheon, “Dine with the Ducks!” was held at Cyrano’s Cafe & Wine Bar, located on the south bank of the Chicago River. This was a perfect riverfront location and view to witness “Splashdown” and to dine on Chef Didier Durand’s custom and elegant menu offerings.
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
– Louisa May Alcott

View photo gallery

Our 2014 Favorites!

New Image1We are proud to present Our 2014 Favorites in Circles of Color!

As we begin to close out 2014, we reflect upon the past months of special events, successes, learning’s, and opportunities for the New Year. We pause to spotlight select, memorable preferred partners that captured our hearts with magical experiences and unique Client offerings.

Take time to visit their sites and experience their services. Tell them, “The Huestudio + Company sent you!”

Trust us, you’ll be glad that you took time to do so!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, with all your favorite circles of color!

LogoA Sweet Delivery

Discovery Arts-8Not only do we love Sugar Chic Designs with their uniquely imaginative special event sweet tables, but we adore A Sweet Delivery, a petit sweet table in a box! As a preferred partner, Amy DiTomasso has re-created the same magic and elegance of her beautifully appointed sweet tables into stylishly curated gift alternatives for everyday gift giving. Offering custom-branded corporate gifts, in addition to private and special events and weddings, A Sweet Delivery is a favorite of The Huestudio + Company! Send a smile of sugar and style today!  

DiscoveryArts-logo-blueDiscovery Arts and The Courage Campaign

Jeff Huges Portrait PhotoshootAs a preferred charitable partner of The Huestudio + Company for several years, Discovery Arts brings joy, laughter and normalcy to over 3,500 critically ill, hospitalized children and their families through their 100% free, signature “Arts Adventures”. We are honored to support The Courage Campaign through the sale of Louis T. Lion, the Official Lionison of Courage and Ambassador of Heart of Discovery Arts, through our online store, Gifts that Give. Purchase a Louis T. Lion through December 31, 2014 and one (1) additional Louis will be sent to Discovery Arts in your honor.

DSC_5703Feed My Starving Children, featuring PhotoGabi

DSC_6140Gabriel Bucataru of PhotoGabi, a preferred partner, captured the essence and joy with amazing images at the two-day volunteer MobilePack event at Chicago’s Union Station in August 2014. The “Be An Engine for Change” event was a 2014 highlight and volunteer favorite which allowed the hand-packing of life-giving meals, specifically formulated for malnourished children around the world. As a preferred charitable partner, Feed My Starving Children ships meals to over 70 countries around the globe. Consider volunteering your time and donating to this wonderful organization!


white-winter-arrangement1The only flower shop to make Our 2014 Favorite list is a lovely European-style shop owned by the talented Joanne Leiman. Located in Evanston, Illinois, FlowersFlowers, a preferred partner, designs the most luscious and exquisitely creative floral arrangements using exceptional seasonal flowers from around the world. In addition to the flower varieties, coupled with interesting textural and whimsical elements, the designs of FlowersFlowers are truly outstanding and a favorite of The Huestudio + Company.

JanBangles0614_133Jan Lewis Designs

Jeff Huges Portrait PhotoshootAs one of Our 2014 Favorites, the exotic and exquisite Fair Trade bangle creations of Jan Lewis Designs are uniquely lovely! We especially love the new Circle of Colors collection and were honored to have collaborated on the colorful and intricate designs. Soon to be featured inside the 2015 “Everybody Wins at the Oscars®” gift bags for the third consecutive year, Jan Lewis Designs’ handcrafted bangles and ties are sure to delight nominees in the best actor, best supporting actor, best actress, best supporting actress and best director categories. Neil Patrick Harris, the host of the 2015 Academy Awards, will also be a recipient.

La Relance SalonLa Relance Salon

IMG_1154While many salons are terrific, La Relance Salon is exceptional in every way! New to Our 2014 Favorite list, this comfortable, yet romantic Aveda Concept salon is creative, classic and contemporary. Offering event styling for weddings and special occasions, their hair color treatments, hair conditioning, makeup and skin care services and specialized treatments for men, women and children are always first class! Book today to look amazing for the holidays and into 2015!

LOGOpdfMaddiebird Bakery

_MG_0361New to Our 2014 Favorites list is a small cake studio + mom ’n pop cupcake shop located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Selected on behalf of their adorably creative, edible artistry with a focus on fun, contemporary cake designs, Maddiebird Bakery’s classic scratch cakes are literally “works of art” and oh, so delicious. As a preferred partner of The Huestudio + Company, you can easily see why we love and adore them! Yum! Yum!

MRP_LogoRife Ponce Photography

Image 1Owned by the multi-talented Maggie Rife Ponce, and selected for the second year in a row as one of Our 2014 Favorites, Rife Ponce Photography captures simple human exchanges and emotions of everyday life in sensitive and magical settings, all while focusing on amazing light. As a storytelling wedding, portrait and travel photographer, not to mention a preferred partner of The Huestudio + Company, Rife Ponce Photography is exceptional in every way! View our 2014 Spring | Summer Magazine to view more of their amazing work and artistry.

CAYENNE.FINAL copyRosemary Fanti

New to Our 2014 Favorites list is the nationally published illustrator, Rosemary Fanti, a preferred partner, who supported a magical 100-year Milestone Birthday event earlier this year for a special Client. Illustrating on-site, Ms. Fanti captured guests within minutes in vivid detail and colorful backgrounds. Her chic and fashionable, custom illustrations are always a guest highlight!

michaelcourier-huederby-3102-7x5 Special Olympics Illinois, featuring Balloons by Tommy + Swirlz Cupcakes

michaelcourier-huederby-2722-7x5For the third year in a row, The Huestudio + Company and The Sunshine Paddlers have proudly supported The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby for Special Olympics Illinois. As one of our 2014 Favorites, the fun and festive balloons by Balloons by Tommy and delicious custom cupcakes from Swirlz Cupcakes, both preferred partners, complemented our mega flashmob-style dance to Pharrell Williams’, “Happy!” to the delight of many along Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue.

IMG_3310Joan Rivers

Whether you liked her, hated her, or loved her, the world lost a comedic legend with the passing on September 4, 2014 of Joan Alexandra Molinksy, known as Joan Rivers. Our final 2014 Favorite is the touching, humorous and poignant last request, shared below. We celebrate a life well loved; a life well lived.

“When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action…”

“I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way.”

“I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents.”

“I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’”

“I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag.”

“And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.”

RosesTo properly close out 2014 [ and we’re not planning on going anywhere for a long time ], our final wishes and requests are shared below! May you and yours be blessed!

“Just like Joan, I want to look handsome, better dead that I do alive. I want to be laid out for just one hour in a crisp, white Charles Tyrwhitt shirt with a gorgeous, custom Mark Roscoe tie, a classic Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke suit and colorful Happy socks [to keep my feet warm!], along with yellow Gucci shoes to keep “walking on sunshine”, just like Katrina and the Waves!”

“I want a Celebration of Life that is colorful, festive and uplifting at House Without A Key at Halekulani under the century-old Kiawe tree. I want attending guests to have gorgeous, fragrant leis from Cindy’s Lei Stand in Chinatown and to raise a beloved Mai Tai with crushed ice to a life well lived while dining on succulent coconut shrimp and Maui chips.”

“I want Stefan Holt to moderate any speakers who might wish to say a few kind words in his booming newscaster voice and for all three (3) of the Ponce men to sing “My Old Kentucky Home”, the official song of The Kentucky Derby and the official state song of my beloved birth state, in colorful Derby hats with red rose boutonnieres.”

“I want the talented Kanoe Miller to dance the hula to “I’ll Remember You” and “Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoole, and to end the Celebration by engaging all to dance in a circle, “The Hukilau”.

“I want a scrumptiously designed Circle of Colors sweet table from Sugar Chic Designs and a custom guest favor box from A Sweet Delivery curated with one (1) delicious Swirlz Cupcake, a small bag of Garrett Mix® popcorn, Chicago Butter Cookies twosies, angelic salted caramel marshmallows from Katherine Anne Confections, and Lemon Paradise™ toffee from Terry’s Toffee. I want it to be Chicago all the way!”

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

– Erma Bombeck

Smiles of Sunshine

june_sunFor the third year in a row, The Huestudio + Company and its corporate team, The Sunshine Paddlers, sponsored The 9th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby for Special Olympics Illinois on Thursday, August 7, 2014!

michaelcourier-logoBelow, are professional photographs by Michael Courier, a preferred partner! Delight in the joy and happiness in all of these terrific images!

michaelcourier-huederby-2285-7x5Balloons by Tommy, a preferred partner, provided the fun and festive balloons! Team members of The Sunshine Paddlers “surprised and delighted” spectators with over 100 yellow, “Happy! – kissed” balloons!

michaelcourier-huederby-2422-7x5Jillian Thomas, dressed in bright Sunshine Yellow attire + blue and yellow ‘fireworks’ balloons by Balloons by Tommy!

michaelcourier-huederby-2458-7x5Practicing for our mega flashmob dance to “Happy!”, by Pharrell Williams.

michaelcourier-huederby-2467-7x5The Chicago Cubs mascot, “Clark”, stopped by to cheer The Sunshine Paddlers on! Over 100 + dancers joined for our mega flashmob dance on the Plaza, directly across from the famed Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue in Chicago!


michaelcourier-huederby-2511-7x5Lujean Berry, dressed in her “Be Happy!” t.shirt from Ink 4 Your Soul, a preferred partner, and Derby-style hat!

michaelcourier-huederby-2553-7x5Southpaw, The Chicago White Sox mascot, stopped by for a team photograph with The Sunshine Paddlers!

michaelcourier-huederby-2585-7x5Benny the Bull, The Chicago Bulls mascot, was initially reluctant to be photographed, but graciously indulged our team in a fun, festive manner!


michaelcourier-huederby-2616-7x5The wonderful team of Swirlz Cupcakes, a preferred partner, delighted spectators with delicious mini-cupcakes!

We love and adore Dana, Paula, Alex and Pam!  xoxo


michaelcourier-huederby-2658-7x5Lujean Berry + Kate Vilatuya!

michaelcourier-huederby-2716-7x5The Sunshine Paddlers pictured here with a Special Olympics Illinois athlete. Proceeds from The 9th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby directly supports the nearly 21,500 athletes and over 18,500 Young Athletes across Illinois.

michaelcourier-huederby-2703-7x5The fabulous ladies of Swirlz Cupcakes, a preferred partner!

Thank you Alex, Dana + Pam!  xoxo

michaelcourier-huederby-2722-7x5Adorable [not to mention, incredibly delicious] sunshine + ducky-branded [The Sunshine Paddlers] mini-cupcakes from Swirlz Cupcakes, a preferred partner!

michaelcourier-huederby-2806-7x5Pam Rose, a partner of Swirlz Cupcakes, serving mini-cupcakes to hungry spectators!


michaelcourier-huederby-2739-7x5The one and only, Penny Thomas!  xoxo

michaelcourier-huederby-2765-7x5Be Happy!

michaelcourier-huederby-2994-7x5Our mega flashmob dance to “Happy!” by Pharrell Williams promptly started at 12:15 pm to the delight and enjoyment of all spectators and guests!

Our over 100 + dancers can now say they were part of a flashmob dance on famed Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago!


michaelcourier-huederby-3025-6x4The Sunshine Paddlers Team!

michaelcourier-huederby-3102-7x5Thanks to Balloons by Tommy for the fun, festive and very Happy! colorful balloons! We love their work and creativity!

Thank you Tommy + Scott!

michaelcourier-huederby-3280-7x5Over 60,000 yellow rubber ducks were dumped from The Columbus Drive bridge in downtown Chicago!

Ducks then “swam” to The Michigan Avenue bridge!